Archive for June 3rd, 2013

03
Jun
13

Night Owl Chat – DJ Shadow Edition

DJ Shadow—nee Joshua Paul Davis—is, along with Danger Mouse, one of the best DJ/producers in American pop music. I pretty much devour everything he puts out. So, a little DJ Shadow to wind you down from the day.

His big breakout song – “Six Days”

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03
Jun
13

This and That

Text of the President’s remarks here

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mentalhealth.gov

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Supporters engulf Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) during a rally at the Xcel Energy Center June 3, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Obama clinched the Democratic presidential nomination following primaries in South Dakota and Montana

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Michael Cohen (The Guardian): What makes the Republican position on Medicaid expansion truly sick – In their ideological vendetta against Obamacare, red states seem more willing to let low-income people die than get healthcare

If you want to get a sense of the enfeebled and wanton state of the modern Republican party, there really is no better place to start than on the issue of Medicaid, the federal program that provides healthcare coverage for the poor.

In a desperate effort to undermine the law they hate, Obamacare, Republican governors and state legislatures in half the states have either rejected or intend to reject a key part of the president’s signature domestic initiative – namely, billions in federal dollars to extend Medicaid coverage to their poorest citizens. While Republicans argue they are acting out of high-minded fiscal rectitude, the reality speaks to something else altogether – petulance and hyper-partisanship.

…. Republicans are searching for ways to rehabilitate their image. It ain’t gonna be easy so long as they operate as though saving money – and keeping their ideological purity intact – is more important than reducing suffering and saving lives.

Full post here

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Jonathan Cohn (New Republic): If you want to know why we can’t have an honest debate about Obamacare, all you have to do is pay attention to some recent news from California – and the way a highly distorted version of it, by one irresponsible writer, has rippled through the conservative press.

More here

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03
Jun
13

Chat Away

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“For the President, this was one of the most poignant moments of the his first term. He was visiting wounded warriors in the intensive care unit at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. He had just presented a Purple Heart to Sgt. Chase Haag, who had been injured by an IED just hours before. Sgt. Haag was covered with a blanket and it was difficult to see how badly he was injured. He was also seemingly unconscious, or perhaps just asleep. The President whispered in his ear so not to wake him. Just then, there was a rustling under the blanket and Sgt. Haag, eyes still closed, reached his hand out to shake hands with the President. ‘I’ll never forget that moment,’ someone else in the room later told me.”
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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First Lady Michelle Obama and students from around the country participate in the White House Kitchen Garden spring planting on the South Lawn of the White House, April 4, 2013. Mrs. Obama was joined by students from Benjamin David Gullett Elementary School in Bradenton, Fla., Arthur D. Healey School in Somerville, Mass., Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy in Knox County, Tenn., the Milton Elementary School in Milton, Vt., and Harriet Tubman and Bancroft Elementary Schools in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

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For those who want information on the great work Attorney General Eric Holder is doing at the Department of Justice, you can click here. Information and knowledge are power.

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03
Jun
13

Attorney General Eric Holder: Champion Of The People

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There are fools on the left, center, and right who have no clue what Attorney General Eric Holder does everyday. There are fools on the left, center, and right whose lives will never be affected by racism, sexism, injustice, poverty, discrimination and therefore do not understand or willfully choose not to understand why we need an Eric Holder. There are fools on the left, center, and right who call for this fighter of the downtrodden to be fired. Why are they fools? This is why.

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Obama and Holder 522

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Impartial Review: Eric Holder’s Justice Department has successfully brought a large number of discrimination cases against banks. In most of these cases, the banks were alleged to have charged Hispanics and African-Americans with the same financial credentials thousands more for the same loan. In addition, minorities were targeted for risky sub-prime loans.

Morgan Stanely settled a race discrimination charge against Hispanics last week. The settlement established a $16 million fund, of which $14 million will be divided among class members who submitted claims. Under the settlement, Morgan Stanley will spend approximately $7.5 million on diversity programs, including programs aimed at training and recruiting African-American and Hispanic financial advisors and trainees over the next five years.

Bank of America has been the hardest hit by Department of Justice lawsuits due to their purchase of Countrywide. Bank of America agreed to pay $335 million (see video above) to resolve allegations that it engaged in a widespread pattern of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers. In addition, two race bias lawsuits were filed against the company in July.

More here

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03
Jun
13

Rise and Shine

Two years ago: President Obama greets people in Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today:

9:40: President Obama delivers opening remarks to the White House Mental Health Conference

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

2:0: VP Biden delivers closing remarks at the National Conference on Mental Health at the White House

3:30: Sec. of State Kerry Addresses 2013 American Jewish Committee Forum (C-Span)

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Tuesday: The President will host President Sebastián Piñera of Chile at the White House.

Wednesday: The President will welcome the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens to the White House.

Thursday: The President will travel to the Charlotte area as part of his middle-class jobs and opportunity tour.  From there, he’ll travel to San José, California to attend an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He will spend the night in San José.

Friday: The President will travel to Los Angeles to attend an event for the Democratic National Committee. He will then travel to Palm Springs, California to meet with President Xi Jinping of The People’s Republic of China at Sunnylands, the Walter and Leonore Annenberg estate.  He will remain overnight in Palm Springs.

Saturday: The President will wrap up his meetings with the Chinese President and then will return to Washington, D.C.

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White House Live

Washington Post: President Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks Monday on the issue of mental health, raising it in connection with the sweeping gun-control agenda he unveiled earlier this year.

The morning address will open what the White House has dubbed a National Conference on Mental Health, a gathering of advocates, elected officials, faith leaders and others aimed at increasing awareness of mental illness and highlighting ways that the mentally ill can seek help. Actress Glenn Close and Vice President Joe Biden are slated to speak at the event.

During his speech, Obama is expected to announce a series of “summits” coordinated by Veterans Affairs health centers aimed at bolstering mental health services for veterans.

More here

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Sweeeeeeeeeeet:

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Steve Benen: ….. Unlike Issa’s rhetorical jabs, Plouffe’s brush-back pitch at least has the benefit of accuracy …. Issa, the man Republicans have tasked with leading investigations into alleged administration misdeeds, really has spent a fair amount of his adult life as a suspected criminal. This Ryan Lizza piece in the New Yorker from a couple of years ago remains relevant.

“Many politicians have committed indiscretions in earlier years: maybe they had an affair or hired an illegal immigrant as a nanny. Issa, it turned out, had, among other things, been indicted for stealing a car, arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, and accused by former associates of burning down a building.”

…… It’s not a secret – Issa’s background is the subject of insider jokes and private chatter – but it’s considered impolite to broach the subject publicly.

Which makes Plouffe’s rhetorical shot all the more interesting.

More here

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ThinkProgress: The Medicare Trustees had great news for American seniors on Friday: the program’s solvency has been extended for two full years past what the trustees predicted in 2012.

In their annual report, the trustees wrote that Medicare’s hospital insurance trust fund will be fully solvent through 2026. That’s over a decade longer than what the trustees projected back in 2009….

…. The upward projections are likely a consequence of several factors. First, the 10-year revision from 2009 is a direct result of Obamacare. The health law takes $700 billion of excessive and wasteful payments made to private providers that service the Medicare Advantage program and reallocates it to traditional Medicare. Conservatives have made the outlandish claim that this “robs Medicare,” when in fact it does the exact opposite, and Republicans have included the same savings in their own budgets.

More here

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Paul Krugman: Last month the Congressional Budget Office released its much-anticipated projections for debt and deficits, and there were cries of lamentation from the deficit scolds who have had so much influence on our policy discourse. The problem, you see, was that the budget office numbers looked, well, O.K.: deficits are falling fast, and the ratio of debt to gross domestic product is projected to remain roughly stable over the next decade. Obviously it would be nice, eventually, to actually reduce debt. But if you’ve built your career around proclamations of imminent fiscal doom, this definitely wasn’t the report you wanted to see.

Still, we can always count on the baby boomers to deliver disaster, can’t we? Doesn’t the rising tide of retirees mean that Social Security and Medicare are doomed unless we radically change those programs now now now?

Maybe not……

More here

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@TuxcedoCat

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Michael Tomasky: Who’s Mark Pryor Kidding? …. Arkansas Democratic Senator Mark Pryor has a new reelection ad up in which he says: “The mayor of New York City is running ADS again me, because I oppose President Obama’s gun-control legislation. … I’m Mark Pryor. And I approve this message because NO ONE from New York or Washington tells ME what to do. I listen to ARKANSAS.”

New poll: 60/31 support for background checks in Arkansas

…. So, Senator: bullfeathers. You’re not listening to Arkansas. You’re listening to the NRA…..

More here

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TPM: A lawmaker who helped negotiate a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration predicted on Sunday that comprehensive legislation would overwhelmingly pass the Senate by July 4 while House Republicans cautioned that they would write their own version, one piece at a time.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he anticipates as many as 70 of the 100 senators will vote for the measure heading to the full Senate on June 10. Even if it passes there, the proposal faces tough prospects in the Republican-led House, where lawmakers are at work on their own piecemeal approach that could stall a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants living in this country illegally.

More here

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Star Tribune: We will miss Michele Bachmann

She hid in the bushes to protect us from the gays, launched an inquisition into the government to protect us from the Muslims and promised to break the law to save us from the ­census takers.

But now that Rep. Michele Bachmann is calling it quits, who is left to save our incandescent light bulbs?

No one, that’s who.

….. my favorite Bachmann sleight-of-mouth may have been when she said this: “After the debate that we had last week, PolitiFact came out and said that everything I said was true.”

PolitiFact rated that statement a “pants-on-fire” fib…..

More here

Thank you ‏@FORUS50!

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Woah, am I the last to know about the conditions George Preston Marshall left in his will??

Michael Tomasky: There’s a debate brewing – yet again – about whether the name of Washington’s football team is racist. Of course it is.

When George Preston Marshall died in 1969, he … directed that the bulk of his estate be used to set up a foundation in his name. He attached, however, one firm condition: that the foundation, operating out of Washington, D.C., should not direct a single dollar toward “any purpose which supports or employs the principle of racial integration in any form.” Think about that. This was not 1929 or 1949….

This is the man who gave the Washington Redskins their name. He was one of the most despicable racists in the American sporting arena of the entire 20th century. He thought Redskins was funny, just as he thought the war paint and feather headdress he made the head coach wear were funny. And this is the legacy that current Redskins owner Dan Snyder wants to uphold?

More here

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MoooOOOooorning!!!

Enoooooooooooormous thanks to UT and LovelyPlains for their posts yesterday,

I am so tempted to buy you both this costume to demonstrate your wonderfulness:

Yes, that’s what you are: human Cheesy Puffs.




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